Willie's ways: Former Third World drummer works on documentary
WILLIE Stewart, former Third World drummer, is in the final stages of his upcoming documentary Rhythms of Africa, which stresses the importance of keeping music in schools.
The drummer, who is now based in South Florida and was in the island recently, said he spoke with local drummers for the documentary that he has been working on for almost eight months.
"They are taking music out of most school curricula now. It is my belief that a whole child need all the other curriculum and music as well," Stewart told Jamaica Observer.
The former reggae band member is carrying out his mandate of keeping youth in touch with music through his non-profit organisation, Embrace Music Foundation (EMF), which conducts workshops in schools and communities.
Explaining the term 'embrace' Stewart said it is all about restoring, preserving and fortifying the impact of music education, appreciation and amplifying its role in the development of children and family.
Stewart believes that music has become vulnerable by the school curricula and through this documentary he hopes to make a difference by uniting children with musicians, instruction and the local business community in an effort to keep the arts alive.
He dreams of seeing youngsters having a great appreciation for music.
The documentary, which is being executively directed by Vivienne Casce of Steady Image and produced by Adrian Allen, will show the musical journey from Africa to Brazil, into Cuba, Jamaica, Trinidad, and America.
Stewart says he expects the documentary to be completed in the next two months.
UK-born Stewart started his career in the early 1970s as a member of the popular Inner Circle band, then toured with Byron Lee (his older brother) and the Dragonaires.
He then joined Third World in the mid 1970s, playing on the band's landmark albums such as 96 Degrees in the Shade and Journey to Addis, as well as the hit songs Now That we Found Love and Try Jah Love.